DISCLAIMER: I'm just having fun with the Star trek characters but the story is my own and can't be copied except for personal use. It may not be posted at another site without my permission. Edited SDerkins. ©2006.
WARNING: This is also a romance between two women and written for adults. Please feel free to read something else if this would offend you. Not much vulgarity except here and there. So don't say I didn't warn you.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Starfleet Academy Mystery
By Golden_ruhl


Part One

Fleet Admiral Nechayev studied the cadet who stood rigidly in front of her. The cadet's eyes were locked forward as she defiantly refused to even blink. The Admiral lifted the data pad from her desk and stepped closer to the young woman.

"Would you care to explain why this is in my hands?"

The cadet remained silent, refusing to answer and her stance became even more rigid although the Admiral couldn't see how it was possible. Just looking at her was giving her a tension headache.

"At ease, Cadet Nimitz." Alynna sat behind her desk and sighed as she stared once more at the resignation in her hand. Rear Admiral Brand, the Starfleet Commandant, had brought it to her personal attention because she knew of her relationship with the cadet's family. In turn, she spoke to Janna's father. Jason was beside himself, unable to get any answers from his daughter. She had been a very promising cadet with good marks and favorable reports from her instructors. So why did she want to resign?

As she looked at the young woman before her, Alynna's features softened. She had known Janna since she was a little girl with large blue eyes and the sweetest nature—at least when she wasn't being pig-headed. Memories came flooding back. It wasn't all that long ago, in her mind, when the young woman called her Aunt Alynna.

"I remember when you used to come to me when you had problems, when you were little. Are we so different now Janna?" she asked sadly.

The cadet refused to look into her eyes. Instead, her gaze shifted and gazed out the window, just behind the Admiral.

"I'm not a little girl any longer nor is this about a broken greenhouse window," Janna stated in a soft but defiant tone.

True, she wasn't a child any longer but she still lacked life experience. Perhaps she just needed a guiding hand. She'd try a different approach. She stood up and walked over to one wall and studied the photos and artworks of past Starships and officers.

"People in your family, from the days of the wet navy to today have served in the military or Starfleet. Some of them died performing their duty and some have had long outstanding careers as officers. None have ever shirked their duty or fled in the face of battle—until now. I can only imagine what they would think of your actions today. To give up everything you've achieved so far on a whim-"

"Whim! Admiral…" Janna clamped her lips together in anger.

"Well, you refuse to state why you wish to resign. Your grades are outstanding and you have impressed your instructors with your abilities. So why quit?"

Jana refused to speak once more, glaring out the window now, her anger seething just under the surface of her face.

"It seems to be a fad. Do you know that five other young women have recently resigned? Their records are nearly as good as your own," the Admiral mentioned offhandedly. "At this rate there won't be a female left in the academy," she said, trying to make it sound like a humorous comment.

Janna snorted bitterly.

"I haven't accepted your resignation yet, Cadet," she snapped, "All I want to hear is words, not crude noises. Now tell me what is going on before I have you thrown in the brig for insubordination!" Nechayev threatened.

"Permission to speak freely, Admiral?"

"Of course."

"You and I both know that is an empty threat. Even you would be hard pressed to punish a fellow admiral's daughter without good reason. That's how life works, doesn't it? An officer protects his own? With enough clout, you could get away with nearly anything, couldn't you?"

Nechayev crossed her arms and looked at Janna, her eyebrows nearly creased into one another from frowning so hard. "What exactly are you trying to tell me, Janna?"

Janna stood and resumed her rigid stance. "Nothing, Admiral. Just commenting on one of life's little ironies. May I be dismissed?"

"Dismissed, Cadet." The Admiral watched her goddaughter leave the room.

"Well, that was helpful," she commented to herself.

Newly appointed rear Admiral Kathryn Janeway glanced out her office window. It overlooked the manicured lawns and gardens of Starfleet Head Quarters based in San Francisco. She couldn't believe that they were home, thanks to the Borg technology no less.

The Daystrom Institute had recently cracked the transwarp barrier of the coils that had been stolen from the Borg ship. Between the speed capabilities and the new ablative hull shielding, Starfleet vessel technology would be making huge leaps that could save thousands of lives.

The hull armor had caused quite a stir with the Temporal Investigation Department, who at first confiscated the technology. Heated discussions of the use of a technology from the future had taken months before they grudgingly permitted it to be studied further. The theory that inched the argument towards using the armor was the fact that no time ship had come to their time to correct the mistake. Then the Daystrom Institute had learned of their possession of it. It seemed they had been working on it themselves, reinforcing the belief that it would have been in use anyway and therefore morally acceptable to use in this timeline.

With the arguments finished it was time to implement those new designs into the Starfleet vessels. Refitting for each ship needed to be scheduled, juggling the coverage of every sector. Janeway sighed and sat down. Her desk was covered in assorted PADDs, all needing her attention or approvals. Progress reports came in almost hourly.

Janeway was developing a massive headache. Life was much simpler as a starship captain. 'I wonder if I can give back the Admiralty just so I can escape from all this damned paperwork,' she thought to herself.

An electronic bleep shook her out of her musings.

"Admiral, Admiral Nechayev is here to see you," her assistant reported over the Comm system.

"Send her in," she ordered, standing to greet her visitor. "Admiral," she said warmly.

Nechayev held up her hand to stop her. "If we stand here and keep saying, Admiral-Admiral, we'll be here all day. At ease, and call me Alynna," she commanded. From anyone else Kathryn would have taken it as lightheartedness but the look on the Fleet Admiral's face told her otherwise.

"You're the boss. What can I do for you, Alynna?"

Nechayev smiled without humor. "Always to the point," she said as she sat down in the large chair facing Janeway's desk. "I need you to take a temporary assignment. The Commandant of Starfleet Academy has asked for, and given, a sabbatical."

"And this affects my department how?" Janeway wanted to know what this had to do with her. And why had Admiral Brand asked for time away from the Academy? Assignments as Commandant to the Academy were almost a life term assignment, given to officers who have shown a strong aptitude for excellence and dedication. Once assigned to the duty it normally took a crowbar to remove a commandant from the post. Her instincts were sounding an alarm claxon in her mind.

The Admiral cleared her throat. "I know this isn't normally considered a temporary assignment but I need you to take over as the Academy Commandant's position for a brief time."

Kathryn was speechless for several seconds. She had not seen this coming.

"Me, The Commandant of Starfleet Academy? Why? I have no experience with training cadets. I've never even held a teaching post during my career."

"It's not your teaching experience I need Admiral. It's your ability to find the truth that I need. What I am about to tell you is to be kept strictly in the room and only told to those you deem to have the need to know."

Nechayev spoke for some time, disclosing the occurrences within the Academy. Janeway listened intently, stunned. When the Admiral finished Kathryn sat back and shook her head.

"None of this has become common knowledge? Two suicides and six resignations by female cadets can hardly be considered random or coincidence."

"I agree. Admiral Brand has looked into the incidents but has failed to get to the root of the problem. Her sabbatical wasn't entirely voluntary," Alynna said coldly. Janeway shuddered from the look of fury in her eyes. And they say her looks could peel paint from the walls? She was glad she wasn't in Brand's shoes.

"I want this problem investigated and resolved, Kathryn. I can't get involved with this personally as much as I would want to. One of those who resigned was my goddaughter, Janna. I'm relying on you to stop this in its tracks."

"Do you have any theories to what is going on?" Janeway asked. "What does the student commander have to say about these incidents?"

There was a brief flash of pain in Admiral Nechayev's eyes but Kathryn missed it, her attention being on the PADD she was punching notes into. "No, he claims to know nothing."

Janeway looked up. "Then he must be the most clueless Cadet Commander in history. Do you have any instructions on how you want this handled?"

The Fleet Admiral stood up. "No, this is at your discretion. Your new post begins at 0800 Monday morning. Carry on." Janeway stood silently as Admiral Nechayev left her office.

Several hours later the headache felt like a migraine. She had brought in several of the senior cadets in for interviews but all she had gotten was blank looks and uninformative replies. The admiral had dismissed them wearily and sat back in her chair. She wasn't used to being stonewalled by mere cadets. They had looked so young, reminding her that she was easily old enough to be their mother. She grinned slightly, remembering the comment from her former first officer when he had said she behaved like a strict mother with her crew. Perhaps there had been some truth to that remark. Captains kept the interests of Starfleet, their ship, and those in their command foremost in their thoughts during their career.

Unfortunately, she couldn't simply put those uncooperative cadets over her knee and force them to speak to her. She needed answers. Kathryn picked PADD and looked over the former cadet files once more. Other than they were all female, mainly human, they had little in common. It was up to her to find the missing connections. Were they victims of some sort? It was quite possible. Admiral Janeway concluded what she needed was someone to go undercover, a woman who could appear defenseless but was in fact actually a predator. A feral grin appeared on the older woman's face. She knew just the person for the job, and with a little help, she would be perfect.

Janeway spun her computer towards her and hailed her first contact. A familiar face appeared on her screen. Dr. Bob never changed. His rough features and balding pate filled her screen.

"Hello Doctor. I need your help," she said bluntly.

The holographic physician lifted his chin slightly. "You only have to ask, Admiral. What can I do for you?"

"Meet me at my home tonight, at 1800 hours. We'll discuss it privately there. I promise not to cook," she chuckled. A hologram didn't need to eat but he smiled slightly at her joke. Her cooking skills or lack thereof was well known among the former Voyager crew.

"Until then Admiral. Dr. Bob out." The screen went dark. Janeway consulted the computer and contacted her predator, Captain B'Elanna Torres. The former Maquis member had little trouble finding a position in Starfleet. The losses due to the Dominion War gave gifted officers the opportunity to advance rapidly. B'Elanna had come a long way from the fiery Maquis who began her Starfleet career by breaking the nose of the Lt. Carey.

"Captain Torres," Kathryn got a kick each time she said it, "I have a mission that needs your special flair. Could you come to my quarters tonight at 1800 hours?"

"Mission? Admiral, I-"

"Please B'Elanna, wait until tonight before I explain. We'll have dinner and talk it over." Janeway saw the barely hidden panic in the young woman's eyes.

"I'll order from Francois'," she promised.

The half-Klingon woman sighed. She did her best to hide her relief. She loved Janeway like family and there was no possible way she'd refuse to help her—she just didn't want to die of gastric distress.

"Until tonight Admiral, Torres out."

Kathryn placed the finishing touches on the dinner table; pleased it turned out so nicely. The only mar to the beautiful table was the PADDs sitting at each setting, reminding her this evening wasn't just for pleasure. She sighed and headed for the replicator but stopped when the door chimes sounded.

She gave the enter command and smiled broadly when she spotted her guests, who stood together.

"Come in, come in!" Kathryn gave first the doctor, then B'Elanna, a hug, pleased to see them in person. She hadn't seen them since the crew of the Voyager had been reassigned. The Doctor was now in Starfleet medical and B'Elanna was a captain and in charge of the engineering section of the Utopia Planatia shipyard. They spent an hour catching up on their former crewmembers.

Harry Kim was now a Starfleet Liaison with Daystrom—where Seven was now working as a scientist. Janeway wondered if that had been a coincidence. The romance between Seven and Chakotay had not survived the return from the Delta Quadrant. He had wanted to continue to see one another but something had changed between them. Seven had withdrawn and took a position far from where the commander was stationed.

Janeway asked B'Elanna how Tom was doing. Their marriage had ended a few months after their return. Tom had taken a job as a test pilot and had spent longer and longer hours away from home. They parted on friendly terms for the sake of their daughter. Kathryn was always happy to hear news about her goddaughter. Miral was now 18 months old and quite adorable. Kathryn felt a twinge of guilt at what she would ask of her. Captain Torres would be separated from her daughter for months.

Dinner from Francois was excellent as always. The Doctor kept up a light banter as the women enjoyed their meal. It was a tribute to his self-control over his curiosity that he waited until the Admiral dabbed her lips with her linen napkin before taking the Padd into his hands.

"May I?" he asked. At her nod the two guests activated the PADDs and began reading.

B'Elanna couldn't believe what she read. How had something like this been kept quiet for so long? She turned to Janeway, her eyes wide.

"Admiral, how in the world has the Academy kept a lid on this? I can't believe not even a whisper of this has gotten out yet."

Janeway took a sip of her coffee and looked her former engineer in the eye. "Because we haven't any answers. I've done a little probing but each time walls were thrown up and students kept quiet. They are hiding something and until I know what we're dealing with I want no word of this getting out. I've decided to let things settle a bit before the new quarter to allow the secret keepers to feel more secure. This is where I need the two of you."

"I take it that you wish me to step in as a teacher?" B'Elanna asked.

"Um, not exactly. I had a student more in mind for you."

"A what?" the part Klingon woman exclaimed, her face a portrait of disbelief.

The Doctor chuckled. "Then you want me to perform a little cosmetic surgery on Ms. Torres, am I correct?"

Janeway nodded. "Yes, Doctor Bob. I need B'Elanna to appear like a human teenager. She needs to look like a good target but who is in reality a huntress." A smirk appeared on Janeway's face. "She came to mind, I don't know why."

Part 2

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